Texas Matters: Why The DRT Was Fired From The Alamo
The state of Texas is making a major change to the management of the iconic landmark the Alamo. The General Land Office is ending its contract with the Daughters of the Republic of Texas to run the Shrine of Texas Liberty.
For more than one hundred years the Daughters of the Republic of Texas have managed the Alamo. But in recent years the non-profit heritage organization has come under fire for problems with preserving the Spanish mission that was built in 1744 and became a battleground for Texas independence in 1836.
Becky Dinnin is the director of the Alamo with the Texas General Land Office.
“We have tremendous needs that we know need to happen for the Alamo in the future,” Dennin said
In a statement the Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush said the change help "create a bigger, brighter future for this Texas shrine.
British rock star Phil Collins recently donated his massive collection of Alamo historic artifacts to Texas.
“We have the Phil Collins collection that needs a home. We have to build a museum and visitor’s center for that. We need to be able to take kinda up a notch – in management and in our ability to expand and think bigger,” she said.
The contract with the DRT runs through the end of the August 2016 – but now terminates July 10.
Dinnin said the Land Office will now launch a nationwide search for a company to manage the Alamo. They will be looking for an organization with a history in operating historic sites.
The Alamo was the scene of a major battle in the Texas Revolution - 180 defenders were killed at the site during a siege by Mexican forces.
GLO Commissioner and DRT joint statement
on evolving role in Alamo management
AUSTIN - Today George P. Bush, Commissioner of the Texas General Land Office (GLO), and Ellen McCaffrey, 44th President General of The Daughters of the Republic of Texas (DRT), released the following statements:
Commissioner George P. Bush:
"Without the early intervention of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, we would not be able to celebrate the Shrine of Texas Liberty today. The Daughters of the Republic of Texas will always have a special place of honor at the Alamo and have graciously worked with the GLO and the State of Texas in honoring and preserving the Alamo.
"The Alamo has always had the same owner - the people of Texas. And so to meet the ever-increasing operational needs of the Alamo, the GLO has determined to change its day to day management from the DRT and move in a new direction. Together we will create a bigger, brighter future for this Texas shrine."
DRT President General McCaffrey:
"Since 1891, the Daughters of the Republic of Texas have maintained a proud legacy of perpetuating the memory and spirit of the early pioneers who fought for and preserved the independence of Texas. It is this passion for our state's rich history that inspired our members in the early 1900's to recognize the importance of saving and preserving the Alamo for future generations.
"While we regret our changing role in its daily management, it does not diminish our unending passion for the preservation of the Shrine of Texas Liberty, and we look forward to maintaining our library collection as a historical resource for all Texans to enjoy."
For more than a century members of the DRT have lovingly cared for and maintained the Alamo. This decision does not represent the end of the DRT's devoted service to the Alamo, but instead marks a new chapter in their remarkable story of dedication to Texas History. The Daughters of the Republic of Texas will continue to greatly honor and respect the preservation of the Alamo so future generations can continue to visit the hallowed site and learn of those who gave everything so that we could be free.
The Alamo Endowment has been reconstituted as a major capital campaign to raise millions of dollars needed for an Alamo museum and visitor center worthy of Phil Collins' renowned collection of historic artifacts. The General Land Office is also creating a master plan to complement the city of San Antonio's ongoing planning efforts for Alamo Plaza.
There is an expected transition period of 120 days to new management. During the transition, the GLO will issue a request for proposal to develop a strategic plan and conduct a nationwide search for a new management company. For more information or to donate to the Alamo Endowment, please visit http://www.thealamo.org/endowment.